President Joe Biden is preparing to outline the next step of his economic agenda during a joint session to Congress next week and his proposal to pay for it is expected to include new taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Multiple sources familiar with the discussions underway told CNN that Biden’s forthcoming American Family Plan could nearly double the capital gains tax for people who make more than $1 million a year by taxing it like wages and salaries, and raise the top marginal income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for households making $400,000 or more in income.
The idea of the proposed changes is to reward “work, not wealth,” a concept Biden championed on the campaign trail and which has been a driving force behind his economic policies since taking office.
The President has pledged not to raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 a year, which is more than 90% of taxpayers.
Biden is also proposing to tax the value of capital gains of assets passed on at death, which currently are not taxed.
The proposal would make good on Biden’s campaign trail promise to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations and is his way of funding the American Family Plan, which is currently expected to clock in around $1 trillion. The sweeping plan will be centered around child care, paid family leave, education funding like free community college tuition and other domestic priorities. Details of what the White House is billing as “human infrastructure” are slated to be released Monday and Tuesday.
The proposal is still coming together, with lowering prescription drug prices being a key sticking point. As of now, this is not part of the plan, a White House official said, because of deep disagreement among Democratic lawmakers.
White House officials stressed that the details of the plan haven’t been finalized and could change before Biden introduces it next week. He is continuing to hold meetings with policy aides to finalize the details.
Biden and other top White House officials like Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to hit the road to sell the plan next Thursday or Friday.
The first part of Biden’s plan to help the nation’s economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic is a roughly $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal. The plan, which the President unveiled last month, would invest in and improve the nation’s infrastructure and shift to greener energy over the next eight years.
The President plans to pay for the first part of his recovery package by raising corporate taxes, which is another core campaign promise. Biden would raise the corporate income tax rate to 28%, up from 21%. The rate had been as high as 35% before former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans cut taxes in 2017.
The Biden administration says this corporate tax hike would raise more than $2 trillion over the next 15 years. The President has said he is open to negotiating and compromising over how to pay for the bill and has held meetings with Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House to discuss the proposal.
Getting this legislation through Congress is expected to be a months-long process. Democrats have the slimmest of majorities in the House and Senate and are not united on how best to move forward with shepherding the legislation through Congress.
Many Republicans on the Hill are balking at the infrastructure proposal’s price tag and take issue with its broad definition of infrastructure and a proposed corporate tax hike.
The President has warned that inaction on the infrastructure proposal is not an option and has suggested if he doesn’t garner enough bipartisan support, he could attempt to move forward with the same process that allowed him to pass his sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package without any Republican votes. That reconciliation process would only require a simple majority instead of 60 votes in the Senate.
Biden has pitched his plan as an investment to benefit communities of color, rural Americans and others burdened by decay or lagging modernization.
A central focus of the proposal is addressing the climate crisis and pushing for a green power revolution. Included in Biden’s infrastructure proposal is a provision that would require every state to generate all of its electricity by 2035 from fuels that do not produce any of the carbon emissions linked to global climate change.